West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

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SBirnie
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Replies received from three campsites:-
- Top End Farm, Lt Staughton: “No, not for us”
- Three Rivers Camping, Beccles: “Not interested in your offer at the present time”
to which I’ve replied thanking them for responding & encouraging them to contact CAMpRA when they change their minds!

A more positive reply received 22/2/21 to which I also responded as below:-
- Mill Hill Farm Camping, Darsham, Suffolk:-
“Hello Anne,

Many thanks for your reply.

I’m glad you’ve found our approach of interest. And, I was pleased to read you offer facilities to passing motor caravans in the open season. Although COVID makes everything so difficult at present, isn’t it great that we have increasing light at the end of the tunnel?!

Your attainment of very high standards is to be applauded. And, CAMpRA accepts that out of season facilities would need supervision, albeit the potential extra income could well make this worthwhile, nonetheless. Of course, the ease of doing this will vary between campsites.

As regards expectations of standards by motor caravan owners, I know from my own experience that high standards are a delight when staying on a campsite! It may interest you also that I know, though, from my own extensive use of Aires in Europe (and those few that exist in the UK, mostly in Scotland) that such high standards aren’t necessarily of the most importance to touring owners when simply access to water & waste disposal facilities is the priority. That different level of expectation represents the difference between staying for a period on a campsite against either a few minutes dealing with water pick up & waste disposal or combined with just a night parked up. That said, there’s no denying that finding such facilities in a poor state is a disappointment!

I hope these further comments are of interest and use to you. Please do feel free to contact me for any assistance you would like from CAMpRA, which has a wealth of experience to offer.

Best regards,

Steve

Sent from my iPad

On 22 Feb 2021, at 14:42, Mill Hill Farm Campsite <millhillfarmcamping@live.co.uk> wrote:


HI Stephen, thank you for drawing this idea to my attention. I will certainly look at your letter in more detail and reflect on how as a business we may be able to gain from this. We currently offer water and emptying facilities to passing vans who request it, during our open season, but do not advertise this formally. In response to industry guidelines for maintaining a COVID secure site we do not plan to take drive by motorhomes who have not booked, just yet, but we used to do so and there is no reason not to think that we will be able to do so again- perhaps in 2022.
As a campsite owner with very high standards I should like to make you aware that even one visitor must be catered for to the same high standard as 50 visitors and although you make out of season use of the facilities sound as if no labour would be involved that may not be the case. In my experience motorhome owners have a very high expectation as regards to quality of experience and it may not be possible to deliver this viably and to their satisfaction, on the basis you are suggesting.
Good luck with your quest.
Kind regards
Anne

From: stephenbirnie@aol.com <stephenbirnie@aol.com>
Sent: 21 February 2021 11:43
To: millhillfarmcamping@live.co.uk
Subject: Motor Caravans

Hello,

I am a motor caravan owner & member of a rapidly expanding and active national group of such owners known as Campaign for Real Aires (CAMpRA UK). If you have heard from CAMpRA already, please bear with me.

I attach a CAMpRA document explaining how we and campsites can benefit each other. It may be that not all our proposals suit your particular campsite, but we hope you'll find something of interest.

CAMpRA invites you to give the proposals in the attached document your serious consideration.

Should you require more information on CAMpRA, please visit campra.org.uk. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Your acknowledgement of this email will be much appreciated together with an indication of whether or not you are in a position to take forward any of our suggestions.

Many thanks for your time.

Regards,


Steve Birnie “
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by Steve »

Excellent Steve, all we ask is that some consider the possibility and of course some motorhome owners do use them like a caravan and stay on a fully featured site.
Steve - CAMpRA Leadership Team
SBirnie
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Emails sent today attaching CAMpRA letter to campsites to:-
- Bright Meadow Park, Thurston, Suffolk
- The Oaks Patk, Bucklesham, Suffolk
- Applefields, Leiston, Suffolk
- Beach View Holiday Park, Leiston, Suffolk
- Cakes and Ale Park, Theberton, Suffolk
- Steadings Park, Newbourne, Woodbridge, Suffolk
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Email sent today attaching CAMpRA letter to campsites to:-
- Carlton Park Campsite, Saxmundham, Suffolk
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

I’d approached in January Wysing Arts Centre, Nr Bourn, Cambs., who replied advising they’d consider. They contacted me last week looking for more details. I’ve arranged to meet with their Head of Operations on 10/6/21. Will update soonest afterwards. However, I suspect this’ll be a “slow burner”!
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

After staying recently at Hillcrest CL (for CAMC members), I’ve emailed the owners today as follows:-

“Hi Mr & Mrs Albon,

My wife & I very much enjoyed our peaceful stay at your CL last week 3 to 6 May with super walking & cycling in the lovely Waveney valley right from our pitch (despite the challenging winds at the start)! Sorry we weren’t able to find you to say thank you in person!

Hillcrest has very good, easily accessible fresh water & waste disposal facilities. I don’t know how much custom you have, but it occurred to me that you could earn additional income over and above CL custom, if you’re not doing this already! The following is a suggestion for you - I’m not selling anything!

I’m a member of CAMpRA (campra.org.uk), which is a 22,000 strong volunteer group of motor caravan owners working towards enabling the UK to offer such owners the freedom to tour spontaneously, the same as we’ve enjoyed for years in Europe.

My suggestion is this. As you probably know, self-contained motor caravans need fresh water & waste disposal facilities every 3 - 4 days. So, one of CAMpRA’s aims has been to ask campsite owners to consider allowing passing motor caravan owners the use for a fee of their water & waste facilities. This is common in Europe. In the UK, the Camping & Caravanning Club allow their members such access at their club sites. The Caravan & Motorhome Club are trialling the idea at a small number of their club sites. CAMpRA is aware of some commercial sites also doing this. The usual fee range is between £5 and £7.50. If you were to offer this, CAMpRA would publicise your facilities for free through its own website and the searchforsites app, both of which are linked to many motor caravan related social media sites.

Positioned as Hillcrest is between two favoured touring destinations in the southern Broads, I expect motor caravans pass by frequently. There are about 386,000 motor caravans registered in the UK and , when conditions permit later (hopefully), many of Europe’s near 2 million owners will tour here. They are all potential users of your facilities. And, given Hillcrest’s layout, such users would not encroach on your CL area.

As I say, just a suggestion & I’ll be interested to know your thoughts.

Best regards,


Steve “

Will post update when reply received.
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by CShel »

Great stuff. Though I thought £5-7.50 a time rather higher than what we recommend car-wash businesses ask for, which is £3 a time. Id not want to pop in and pay £5 to empty my toilet
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by Steve »

Steve, I agree with Charles our survey shows £3 to £4 they may stretch to £5 but the CCC charge £7:50 for 2 or 3 hours onsite to use showers and possibly ehu.
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SBirnie
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Ooops, must keep better informed!
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

I attended Wysing Arts Centre near Bourn, Cambs., yesterday afternoon & met with Ceri Littlechild, Head of Operations. It’s clear she’s interested in setting up an Aire or a CL, but as she’ll have to get the idea approved by her management on a sound business case basis, she doesn’t expect any firm developments for this year. They have lots of space, but if they are to offer services, then will have to spend money to invest in these, money they don’t currently have available. I’ve followed up the meeting with the below email. Hoping for favourable news at some point!

“Hi Ceri,

It was good to meet up with you yesterday afternoon. Thanks for giving me a tour of the estate and explaining your initial ideas for Wysing Arts establishing an Aire or a CL. I hope my comments and suggestions were of some help to you. I do realise you’re very much in the early stages of considering all this. I undertook to send you this follow-up email to assist you further.

To save you some time, I said I’d point you towards what I feel is the most appropriate content for you on CAMpRA’s website. If you go to campra.org.uk you’ll first be in the welcome page on which under the sub-heading “MPs, Councillors or Business Owners” you’ll find a link “Go to the Business Hub”. On this page, you’ll find 6 sections each with links to information on specific topics related to setting up an Aire or CL. Within these sections, I suggest you look at :-
Under “What exactly is an Aire?”:-
- Requirements for an Aire
- Do I operate as an Aire or a Campsite?
Under “Motorcaravan service points”:-
- What is a motorcaravan service point?
- Chemical toilet advice
Under “Parking bay options”:-
- Parking bay spacing
Under “Exemption Certificates”:-
- What is an exemption certificate?
- the application forms for a Motor Caravanners’ Club CL and Motorhome Fun Aire
Under “Planning and site licences”:-
- Cases where a site licence is not required

As we discussed yesterday, a bit of investment is very likely necessary for you in relation to chemical loo contents disposal (black waste). So, from elsewhere in the website, I attach a document on basic waste disposal points and a supplier with costings.

You mentioned also the costs of maintaining grass field areas you felt could be used, one of these already used for tent camping during your annual summer festivals. However, it wasn’t until I left you and returned to my car that I realised you have potential for offering 5 motorcaravan “pitches” for no additional outlay in your extensive cinder surface parking areas. For all year use, this would be very much more preferable for motorcaravans than grass areas (because of their weight on soft ground that I explained to you). I noticed, too, the blue electricity points near the bridge leading into the camping field, so in future there could be potential for providing electricity hook up points (EHU’s) for motorcaravan owners wanting this, particularly those who may attend your courses over a number of days, therefore, may well welcome an EHU to charge their batteries.

We briefly considered the gated entrance from the road into one of the fields, but on further reflection I feel this would potentially be too risky from a road safety viewpoint for motorcaravan access & egress, as opposed to your main entrance. We also considered the small bridge from the track into your presently designated camping field in terms of whether or not it would cope with motorcaravan weights. The vast majority would most likely be no more than 3500kg, but some could well be more than this - probably, the next most popular weight bracket is up to 4850kg. Clearly, using the cinder surface parking areas for pitches would get around these issues.

Lastly, I mentioned to you that apart from offering a place for motorcaravan owners to stay, any services you install for them (ie fresh water pick up and grey / black waste water disposal) could be positioned to enable passing owners to make use of them them as well, so adding some more income for you.

If you establish an Aire or CL with such facilities, CAMpRA will ensure details are publicised for free for you in the searchforsites app and other motorcaravanning forums.

I’ve tried to be brief here, but have gone on a bit! However, I hope you find this helpful. If you need clarification on any of the above or need any further information, please do let me know.

Best regards,


Steve”
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